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DC Tours run award-winning city centre walking tours and live ‘Online Experiences’ and have recently launched a range of self-guided audio tours.
Running daily at 10.30am, ‘A History of Terror’ starts at Belfast City Hall where your expert guide explains how and why the Troubles started and then over two hours and 15 minutes you visit seven locations in the city centre where some of the most important events of the conflict occurred. The tour allows you to explore and understand the most turbulent period in Belfast's recent past and what it was like to grow up and live here during the Troubles.
Whilst walking through the Cathedral Quarter and finishing on the banks of the River Lagan, the tour will also explain the peace-building process and demonstrate the reconciliation and regeneration which has taken place in the city since the ceasefires in the 1990s.
The tour is recognised as being unbiased, objective and historically accurate. It is suitable for all visitors to Belfast, regardless of how much or little you already know of our troubled past. DC Tours’ guides are among the most knowledgeable conflict historians in Northern Ireland and ready to answer all of your questions.
The tour is a way for you to scratch the surface and get a real feel for the history of the city. Many guests say they have felt transported back in time through the rich and detailed story-telling. You will witness how far the city has come since those dark days and see Belfast in a new light.
‘A History of Terror’ is rated as ‘5 Stars - Outstanding’ by Tourism Northern Ireland. It was Highly Commended at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards in 2019 in the category ‘Authentic NI Experience of the Year’. Lead guide, Paul Donnelly, was named ‘Top UK Tour Guide’ at the Wanderlust World Guide Awards 2019. The tour was named the No.4 Experience in the U.K. at TripAdvisor’s ‘Traveller’s Choice’ Awards in 2019 – the highest rated attraction outside London.
Best of Belfast Walking Tour
Starting daily at 10am and led by an expert local guide. The Best of Belfast Walking Tour starts and finishes at our iconic City Hall and is the perfect two-hour introduction to Belfast and its unique past. Along the way you will discover fantastic street art, beautiful architecture, amazing history and the unique stories of Belfast’s citizens throughout the centuries.
From the point where Belfast first got its name over 1,300 years ago, to historic buildings such as the St. Anne’s Cathedral, the Customs House, Exchange Rooms and Kelly’s Cellars you will hear stories of some of the most intriguing people who called Belfast their home over the centuries. Their goals, desires and their determination to make Belfast a better place during years of turmoil are powerful and enthralling; from the charitable 19th Century baker to one of the most committed equal rights campaigners in our history (her story really is our favourite!).
The tour also takes you through the cultural hub of the Cathedral Quarter and along the waterfront with views of the river Lagan and over to the iconic yellow cranes, Samson and Goliath, in the Harland and Wolff shipyard where the Titanic was built over 100 years ago. You will then explore the historic Entries at the heart of the city centre and see how they have now been turned into an outdoor art gallery.
Stops also include landmarks such as the Salmon of Knowledge, the Beacon of Hope and the Spirit of Belfast where you can marvel at the best public art in the city while hearing their hidden stories and alternative names from one of our expert guides.
Finishing your tour at the Titanic Memorial back at City Hall, the entire walk is less than two miles and we promise an experience which broadens your horizons, opens your mind and if you take note of the guides’ favourite spots for food and drink, will satisfy your body afterwards too!
Private and group tours are also available and DC Tours has an extensive range of tours and activities for schools and university groups.
Self-Guided Audio Tours
Available on the DC Tours Belfast app and available in English, Spanish and French, DC Tours’ self-guided tours are packed full of historical information, pictures, audio and even video, and together with a GPS mapping system allow you to take total control of your experience.
Simply start the tour and follow the directions on the map for a totally immersive Belfast experience with DC Tours as your personal guide. Once downloaded to your phone you don’t need to be connected to the internet or have wifi to use the app.
You can even access the whole tour from the comfort of your own home, without having to be at the location, making it a perfect guide for helping you prepare for your trip too.
The first self-guided tour is: ‘West Belfast: Peacewalls, Murals and More’ – an in-depth overview of the history of the Troubles in West Belfast, it perfectly complements ‘A History of Terror’, DC Tours’ guided city centre walking tour and costs just £9.99.
With over 30 stops across West Belfast, and a suggested two and a half hour route which visits 16 of the most famous murals, memorial gardens and peacewalls, it is an indispensable companion for anyone venturing into West Belfast to discover the stories of its streets and communities.
The second tour, the ‘Best of Belfast City Trail’ has 30 stops in the city centre and focuses on our city’s greater history and culture, it’s people, art and architecture, with a bit about the Troubles too of course! The full trail is three miles and lasts just over two and a half hours, which makes it a perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon in Belfast.
With the self-guided tours you can:
- Start and finish the tour at any time and any location you want.
- Explore the city in a private group or by yourself, without the need for a guide or to be in a taxi or on a bus with other travellers.
- Access the very highest quality of expert information at a much lower cost than a custom or private tour.
- Pause the tour at any point if there is a museum or cultural centre you want to explore, café or bar you want to stop at or shop you want to visit, or to just take a break and enjoy your surroundings for a while.
- Have a lasting souvenir of your trip which you can relive at any time.
- Be totally contactless while practicing social distancing.
You can never be late for a self-guided tour, it never sells out and it won’t break the bank!
DC Tours’ unique and live Online Experience – ‘The History of the Troubles’ is for travellers who can’t travel right now.
No matter where in the world you are, you can now join DC Tours for a fully interactive two-hour virtual tour, all you need is a laptop or tablet and an internet connection. Hosted by Paul Donnelly (Top UK Tour Guide 2019 – World Guide Awards), the experience is made up of two parts, a 60 minute audio visual presentation and virtual tour of Northern Ireland which will explain the history of the conflict known as the Troubles and also the path to peace and a fully interactive Q&A and discussion session where you can engage with Paul, ask questions and learn about the guides’ life experiences.
The total experience will allow you to discover the events which led up to violence breaking out in the 1960s, the realities of growing up and living your life in the time, the peace and reconciliation work achieved in the last 20 years and what the future may bring.
DC Tours promises an enriching, amazing, engaging, educational and powerful experience which will make you want to visit them to discover even more!
Tickets for walking tours are available from the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre. Visit deadcentretours.com for tour and Online Experience schedules and prices and to book. For our self-guided tours simply download the ‘DC Tours Belfast’ app from your app store and select your tour from the list.